Top Five Ways to Save on Back-to-School Shopping

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Timely Tips from Ellie Kay, Mother of Seven and America's Family Financial Expert®

Ellie Kay, Mother of Seven and America's Family Financial Expert®

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In today's economy, most everyone is concerned with saving money, but as a mother of seven children, Ellie Kay is more familiar than most with how back-to-school shopping can put a dent in the family budget. That's why Upromise, Sallie Mae's saving for college program, Bank of America and MasterCard have teamed up with Kay, America's Family Financial Expert, to share with parents specific savings tips for back-to-school shopping.

Kay's advice demonstrates how easy it is for parents to save on back-to-school purchases at more than 650 of their favorite online retailers, while also earning money for their childrens' college education fund through the Upromise program .

1. Layer the Savings -- When shopping online, look for sale items where you can also use a coupon or code to save even more on the price, shipping, or by getting free products. With the economy forcing parents to make hard decisions about what's really a necessity, putting a little research into finding extra discounts can add up to big savings.

2. "Double Dipping" -- To maximize limited back-to-school shopping dollars, look for items that have good value, but also look to shop at locations where you can have a percentage of that purchase deposited into your child's college savings account. Combined with the savings offered by the Upromise® World MasterCard® credit card from Bank of America, which earns money toward higher education, this tactic can add up for the back-to-school season and beyond.

3. Logistical Savings -- If your college-bound offspring is attending a school out of state, shop at online retailers that also have physical stores in the town where she/he is going to school. Often times, these retailers have online-to-store options where they will send the products to one of their local stores without charging a shipping fee. This option will allow parents and students to shop at their leisure online, take advantage of all the savings options, and have the convenience of going to a local store to pick up the items they ordered.

4. Link-in Friends and Family -- Often family and friends want to help contribute to a child's education, but they don't know how to help - especially in a recession. Grandparents or others can sign up for Upromise for free to have a percentage of their purchases from hundreds of participating merchants deposited in a college savings account. They can also link their Upromise World MasterCard credit card to a Upromise account connected to a 529 plan and contribute to the child's education fund with their everyday spending.

5. Family Spending Plan -- Distinguish between "needs" and "wants" by making financial savings a family affair. Give children a spending plan that shows them how much money they can spend on back-to-school items. Inform children that what they do not spend, they can keep. This added motivation of learning ways to spend less and save more not only saves the family money, but trains children in money matters, making them more adept as young adults.

For additional back-to-school savings ideas from Ellie Kay, as well as information on how to jumpstart a college savings strategy, visit

The Bank of America Upromise World MasterCard credit card with Gas & Grocery Rewards and the Upromise World MasterCard credit card with Dining & Grocery Rewards enable consumers to earn cash back on everyday purchases to help fund future education expenses or pay down eligible Sallie Mae student loans. For information on the rates, fees, other costs and benefits associated with the use of these cards or to apply visit

About MasterCard Worldwide
MasterCard Worldwide advances global commerce by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, businesses, cardholders and merchants worldwide. As a franchisor, processor and advisor, MasterCard develops and markets payment solutions, processes approximately 21 billion transactions each year, and provides industry-leading analysis and consulting services to financial-institution customers and merchants. Powered by the MasterCard Worldwide Network and through its family of brands, including MasterCard®, Maestro® and Cirrus®, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information go to

About Upromise by Sallie Mae
Launched in April 2001, today Upromise by Sallie Mae is a major, private source of college funding contributions in America, with over 10 million members and nearly $500 million in member rewards. Membership is free and can help families save money for college while making everyday purchases of products and services at more than 21,000 grocery and drug stores, 10,000 gas stations, 8,500 restaurants, as well as hundreds of retail store locations, and over 650 online shopping sites. Upromise participating companies include Bank of America, ExxonMobil Corporation, Bed Bath & Beyond®, McDonald's®,,, and hundreds of others. Upromise also makes it easy for families to start their own college savings strategy through tax-advantaged 529 college savings plans offered through Upromise Investments, Inc. or by using Upromise contributions to help pay down eligible student loans. Upromise is just one of the many offerings from Sallie Mae, the nation's leading provider of saving, planning, and paying for education programs. For additional information, visit

About Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world's largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small- and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 53 million consumer and small business relationships with more than 6,100 retail banking offices, nearly 18,500 ATMs and award-winning online banking with 29 million active users. Bank of America is among the world's leading wealth management companies and is a global leader in corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to more than 4 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients in more than 150 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.


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Deborah Hohler
Upromise, Inc.
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